The Manitoba provincial government released its first spring flooding outlook for southern MB today, and preliminary data suggests there will likely be significant flooding on the Red River this spring. A wet fall, cold winter, heavy snowpack south of the border, and a rare February rainfall event has led to above average soil moisture conditions in the Red River watershed. (click here for an aerial survey of snowpack water content as of early February) Based on average weather conditions over the next 6-8 weeks, a flood comparable to that of 2006 or 1996 will likely develop on the Red River this spring, which will cut off Morris and much of Hwy 75 for at least 1-2 weeks. Unfavourable weather over the next 2 months (i.e. wetter than normal) would produce a flood about 2 feet higher than 2006, but still well below that of 1997. Transportation on Hwy 75 would be cut off for 2-3 weeks in this scenario. Currently however, the risk for a 1997 flood is less than 5%.
Note this flood outlook is very preliminary and could change significantly based on weather conditions over the next 6-8 weeks. However, based on "average" weather conditions through the end of March, it appears there will be some significant flooding on the Red this spring.